Shepherd Bushiri’s extradition hearing in false start
Shepherd Bushiri’s extradition hearing faces lengthy delays after a Lilongwe magistrate Patrick Chirwa ruled on Tuesday that the state must bring South African witnesses to Malawi.
The magistrate rejected a prosecution plan to take evidence by video.
Bushiri was left disappointed after witnesses failed to appear in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court to testify against him.
On Friday using his social media platform, Bushiri said he and his wife Mary were expecting to finally face the South African witnesses that were to testify against them in the extradition hearing.
Today, my wife and I confidently appeared before the Malawi Magistrates court where we were expecting to finally face the South African witnesses that are opposing us in the ongoing trial. To my disappointment, however, we were told that the witnesses could not appear due to the following reasons:
Firstly, they claimed that there were no available flights from South Africa to Malawi. This statement is very untrue as my own lawyers from South Africa managed to fly into the country just a few days ago.
Secondly, they enunciated that, the witnesses failed to appear in the Malawi courts due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I do not deem this excuse to have any legal basis, seeing as though, both governments in question have put in place COVID-19 measures that have ensured the safe travels of citizens for the past months.
I am disappointed with this result because it is a repeat of events that have been taking place for the past three years when I was appearing before the South African courts for the same case. For three years they failed to bring witnesses through to testify against my wife and I, and today, they have done the same thing.
With that said, I still choose to place my trust in the Lord and I truly believe that one day, God will vindicate us from all the injustices we are facing.
Thank you to all my fellow Malawians that appeared at the courts in large numbers. May God bless you all!
Thank you once again. We love you, God bless you!